Helpful Information and Resources
At the Tip of Your Fingers
Relationships are a complex and wonderful part of each individual’s life. Relationships provide many positive attributes, such as love, friendship, support, partnership, connection, pleasure, comfort and spiritual bonding. However, at times, they can also be a source of distress, frustration and disappointment that can impact our lives significantly. Individuals in a relationship are often faced with issues that overwhelm, confront and are at times difficult to cope with. This can lead to heightened sensitivity and psychological, physical and emotional distress. If an individual finds themselves in a relationship with features that are more negative than positive in nature it is critical that they seek support and take control of the relationship concerns. This is where a trained practitioner can support and nurture the people within the relationship to find self-generated pathways to improve the connection with one another leading to a more fulfilling and harmonious flow.
An important note to male members of the relationship. Society imposes an ideal image of what men should do, how they should think, act and feel when it comes to relationships. Many men do not know any other method of addressing a problem in a relationship and tend to dismiss the problem and hope it will go away. I can assure you it will not. It is imperative to seek counselling and work with your partner. The key to take-away here is don't let the relationship continue to detach and grow apart by not acknowledging the reality of what is going on in your relationship. Unfortunately many couples do not seek professional support until it is too late. Don't be a statistic.
What causes relationship problems? The common problems that occur within poor relationships are:
1. Poor communications skills
2. Intimacy issues
3. Financial concerns
4. Extra martial affairs
5. Shifting or split in loyalties
6. Poor career/life balance
7. Equality (division of household chores etc...)
8. Individual differences and styles (around parenting)
9. Poor quality of time together
10. Major life intrusions (loss of family member, transition in career, immigration)
What happens in relationship counselling?
Relationship counselling or Couples Coaching typically involves both parties working together to support each other for the mutual benefit of the relationship. This is achieved by employing any number of techniques from Solution Focussed to Cognitive Behavioural therapy Therapies, always with a solid base of a Person Centred approach (respect, non-a judgemental positive regard as well as emotional validation). We provide couples with essential tools to support positive thinking styles, increase intimacy and build resilience, whilst resolving differences. However, it must be said that relationships may require a mediator and in times when the relationship is not able to be salvaged, a counsellor may act as an intermediary to provide an amicable separation pathway.
How can Positive Connections assist?
Positive Connections is a private professional practice that provides support services to individuals, couples and families in the cities of Casey and Cardinia. If you are currently experiencing problems within your relationship/s, or you know a family member or friend that requires a positive intervention, please call us on 0418 105 574 for a confidential discussion. Together we can find a way.
Finding it hard to cope with one problem building on another? Do you feel like you are about to burst? Don’t know where to turn for support? Many women understand and have a strong sense of self-awareness surrounding their emotional and psychological situations, however there is a large divide between awareness and action. Many people find that whilst they would like to discuss certain issues they also want to feel safe and have a high level of trust with another person when disclosing their inner most thoughts. Some are in the difficult situation with an abusive partner or feel trapped. Others may require support in discovering “who they are” following a long duty of servitude to rearing children or supporting close members within the family that require constant care.
The good news is that rapid relief and ongoing support is available here. Positive Connections offers a one-on-one support service for women and men that might be transitioning through a difficult period in life. From time to time everyone may require someone with whom they can discuss issues affecting them, their partner or family and loved ones. Issue’s that may be affecting you that you might like to seeks support for:
1. Anger and Emotional concerns
2. Thoughts of Suicide or Entrapment
3. Family breakdown, including isolation following a divorce
4. Being a Mother
5. Just someone to talk to
6. Dealing with terminal illness
7. Employment matters
8. Assault of family members or friends
Supporting a loved one through a difficult time, such as depression. For both men and ladies, it can be a difficult first step, however, once you pick up the phone and make an appointment you will have already made a positive change in your life. We have female staff that can support you and your needs.Our organisation has assisted and supported many men and women to find a new way of living.
If you are currently experiencing concerns within your family, are undergoing a transition or lack direction, please call us on 0418 105 574 for a confidential discussion.
Raising children is not only one of the most rewarding tasks a parent can experience, but it can also be one of the most stressful. As children grow and develop, they will endure new challenges which may be welcomed or could be fraught with stress. For instance, as your child goes through primary and secondary school, they could be subject to bullying, may start to feel overwhelmed by the demands of school, may feel that there is something wrong with them, or could suddenly start refusing school altogether. We also find that children whose parents are unhappy, or have decided to separate, frequently blame themselves, which understandably causes significant distress and may impact on their ability to concentrate, socialise, mood instability and affect emotional well-being. Sometimes it can be difficult for adults to understand how difficult children's problems can be because we view the problem through our own eyes, with many more years worth of experience and a much strong sense of self. But the pressures of school and growing up can be very hard for some children to cope with successfully.
If your child is upset or troubled, majority of the time they are unlikely to talk about it. However, there are some warning signs you will probably notice in the event that your child is under pressure.
Changes in Behaviour: Your child might withdraw from their friends and lose interest in the hobbies and games they previously enjoyed.
Changes in Temperament: Your child may start to have sudden outbursts of anger over fairly small incidents or they may become more sensitive than usual and easily upset.
Physical Complaints: Your child may start to complain of headaches, stomach pains, and frequent tiredness despite good health. They might also complain of sleeping difficulties and may change their eating habits.
Changes in Thinking: Your child may say things that indicate a disliking for themselves, exhibit low self-esteem, or high levels of self-blame. They may have difficulty concentrating or frequently experience negative thoughts and in some cases, they may even think about suicide.
Considering the difficulties that come with trying to support a child or young adult, we have ensured that we have experienced practitioners who are well equipped to help your child, adolescent or young adult. We are able to work with you all either independently and liaise with parents, or work with the child and parents together to ensure a positive outcome.
Another stage of life that may also cause emotional and psychological distress can be when the child becomes an adult and begins their own journey of marriage and parenthood. If there have been unresolved issues stemming from the past, often they start to unconsciously affect their current relationship(s) and family. Often we have had to bring in adults to have an effective dialogue on those limiting beliefs that have been carried from childhood into the present adult life.
Various techniques can be used within these sessions depending on the age of your child, the relationships they have, their level of maturity and communication skills, and the issues that they are trying to cope with.
If you would like to know more about the types of support we can offer your family, please call us on 0418 105 574 for a confidential discussion.
Anger is basic human an emotion. However, it is the differing degrees to which people express anger, feel angry and the effects this may have upon themselves and those around them that create concern and require positive interventions. Anger can range from a small interruption to your day to an intense and lingering frustration with explosive outbursts. Anger can often mask deeper states of the mind and emotions, such as anxiety, hurt and sadness. The causes of anger can be found within unresolved emotional concerns and learned unhelpful thinking styles and patterns of behaviours.
Anger can be expressed in many ways; most commonly is the external projection of anger in the form of yelling, throwing objects, criticizing, hitting and verbal expression. Anger is not always an isolated concern and can be accompanied by less obvious behaviours such as ignoring others or becoming withdrawn and retracting from the world. At the most extreme end of the spectrum anger can lead to physical, verbal and emotional violence.
Many factors can be attributed to the different levels of anger an individual may express or display. Typically the major factors involve genetic components, learned behaviours and social modelling from significant people in an individual’s life (including how these significant role models deal with and express the emotion of anger). Each of us as individuals have our limitations, including a tolerance to frustration. It is within our everyday lives that stressors can increase leading us to become stressed and frustrated, resulting in an expression of anger.
Individuals may have a number of concerns which impact and increase their tendency for the display and act of being angry. Individuals may turn to substance abuse to reduce the impacts of the underlying hurt or other emotional state.
When does anger become a problem?
The results of anger become a major concern when it affects relationships with loved ones, family, friends and work colleagues. Anger has the ability to impact an individual’s health by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and lifting stress hormones within the body. Anger can lead to expressed behaviours that may violate common laws leading to incarceration, particularly surrounding domestic and physical violence.
The signs that anger may be a problem:
1. An individual is expressing anger and there is signs of physical, emotional, verbal or psychological abuse
2. An individual expresses and feels anger a lot of the time
3. Anger is having a detrimental effect on relationships
4. An individual may frequently get angry over what might be considered small and trivial
5. Anger expressed by an individual appears to last for prolonged periods of time after the event that triggered it
6. An individual appears to become anxious and depressed about being angry
7. Individuals may blame others for the circumstances of being angry
8. Others around the individual are concerned about the anger
If you are having problems with anger, or if you are a family member that requires assistance to provide a positive intervention and assist someone you love, call us on 0418 105 574 for a confidential discussion.
Grief and loss
Feelings of grief and loss are natural emotions following the passing of a loved one or close relative, friend, relationship, or pet. Unfortunately there is no standard protocol for dealing with loss and therefore, individuals deal with grief and loss in many different ways. The process of grief is not linear and does not have clearly defined steps through which individuals pass and become complete once more. Grief and loss are characterised by intense feelings of anger, shock, guilt, loss, sadness and sorrow. Depending on the type of loss, the bereaved may participate in denial and bargaining and may start to develop other health conditions due to ongoing high levels of distress. In some cases grief and loss can cripple individuals to the point that it becomes an intrusion into their lives. The result can be the destruction of an individual’s sense of future and security, producing a burden of emotional and physical pain.Grief can occur as a result of a sudden loss or as a sustained and drawn out process when individuals lose loved ones due to chronic illness over many months, if not years. In the event of sudden loss many family members did not have an opportunity to say good bye and require the support of a counsellor to resolve unfinished business before they can return to some resemblance of life prior to the passing. It is vital that individuals acknowledge the grief in order to promote a healthy process of working through it. If you are having problems coping with the loss and constant grief and need someone to talk to, or, if you are a family member that requires assistance to provide a positive intervention and assist someone you love, call us on 0418 105 574 for a confidential discussion.
Depression and Anxiety
Symptoms of depression
One of the most common mental health conditions in the world today is depression. However, of an even bigger concern is the stigma and labels associated to clients with depressive symptoms. This can have a detrimental affect on individuals that may be suffering symptoms of depression and as such, Positive Connections staff are conscious of the stigma and labels which result in a more comfortable process addressing symptoms, rather than focussing on a diagnosis. Depression can be split into two main areas. Those with a condition as diagnosed as 'depression' and those individuals that may be 'feeling depressed'. The distinction may appear to be only slight, however for individuals it can have a major impact. Of the utmost importance is how Counsellors treat the symptoms.The use of the term depression, within this page, indicates the interchangeability for both the condition and the feelings of depression. However, please do not self diagnose, and do not discount any feelings you may have that are typical of feeling 'blue' or 'down'. Depression can affect individuals of any age and gender. Although people may feel down or blue at times within their life, clinically diagnosed depression is a serious mental health concern which impacts not only individuals mentally but physical well-being. There is a comprehensive checklist to determine if an individual is potentially suffering symptoms of depression, which, if left untreated may result in a diagnosis of depression.
What are the symptoms of depression?
1. Low mood which may include feelings of sadness and emptiness
2. Guilt or feelings of worthlessness and negative thoughts
3. Lack of interest in activities that you once enjoyed
4. Reduced emotional control
5. Lack of concentration and/or indecisiveness
6. Sleep problems, such as insomnia and hypersomnia (too much sleep)
7. Loss of appetite and change in diet
8. Tiredness, loss of energy
9. Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide. Important: If you are feeling suicidal, it is very important to seek immediate support by calling Lifeline - a 24 hour telephone counselling service on 13 11 14 and talk to a trained counsellor now.
For a diagnosis to be made by a mental health practitioner, five or more of the above mentioned depressive symptoms would have to be present during the same two-week period and must represent a significant change from the person's previous mood and functioning. Again, please do not self-diagnose. If you believe that you have symptoms of depression consult with a mental health practitioner immediately. What are the different types of depression?
The main types of depression are:
1. Combined anxiety and depression
2. Major depressive disorder
3. Postnatal depression
4. Bipolar mood disorder
5. Adjustment disorder with depressed mood.
How can Positive Connections assist? If you are having problems with what you believe are potentially depressive symptoms, have been asked to seek counselling by a GP or, if you are a family member that requires assistance to provide a positive intervention and assist someone you love, please call us on 0488 193 307or request a same day call back for a confidential discussion..
Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave and can manifest into physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is subtle yet unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on work, relationships and daily life. Anxiety is quite natural when about to sit a test, interview or a public speaking engagement. However anxiety is considered a problem when symptoms interfere with a person's ability to sleep or otherwise function. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) occurs when a reaction is out of proportion with what might be normally expected in a situation.If you would like to explore whether a generalised anxiety disorder is having an impact on your life, please call us on 0418 105 574 for a confidential discussion on how we can support you going forward.